MONEY MORAL DILEMMA: What's more important - MoneySaving or Santa?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Money Saving Polls
111 replies 18.5K views


  • Telling the kids something of the reality of life, ie things are tough in the world and Christmas presents don't appear automatically, will be worth far more to them in their lives than that 5 minute joy on receiving a gift would be. Children are very adaptable, and what they really need is love, not things.
  • Our son is 3 and has really discovered xmas this year. He has been on & on about it since the summer. He believes in Father Christmas & we encourage him - why not? It's a bit of harmeless fun - when he's old enough to work it out for himself I don't seriously believe his world will come crashing down. We have told him that friends & family (& even the dogs & cats) buy him presents for xmas then they are given to Santa to deliver. (After all, if he doesn't realise that Auntie bought him a present how can he thank her?)In the weeks leading up to it mummy & daddy have various "meetings" with Santa to discuss how good he has been, and he looks after the toys. We also balance this with stories of how lucky he is because there are many boys & girls who don't get presents at xmas not because they haven't been good, but because their parents can't afford it.
  • A big thank you to you all, this thread is brillant. I don't have any children of my own yet and unfortunatley miscarriaged a few weeks ago so won't be experiencing these dilemas just yet.

    But these posts have taken me right back to my childhood and have made me laugh and cry. I remember my brother, cousins & I going to bed on Christmas Eve all excited and being a pain to our parents! We were at our Nan's house and when we asked how Santa was going to get in (she didn't have a Chimney) we were told he had a magic key which would change at everyone front door so he could leave our presents! Also we weren't allowed in certain cupboards because Nan hadn't tidied it lately, every year we fell for this and it was fantastic.

    When I finally realised he wasn't real I was more interested in keeping the magic for the younger ones (I'm 23 and the youngest is now 15, with 3 inbetween). One year i was allowed to go into the cupboards and get the presents out and put them under the tree for the little ones in the morning, Dad would drink Santa's drink and eat the mince pie. The carrot would end up back in the fridge (Reindeer were really hungary and ate all of it!) and one of us wrote a quick thank you note from Santa

    I wanna be a kid again!!! I'm still a big kid though and always will be!
    :heart2: Charlie born Aug 2007 :heart2: Reece born May 2009
    :heart2:Toby born Apr and taken by SMA Dec 2012
    :heart2: Baby boy failed M/C @ 20 wks Oct 2013 :heart2: Sienna born Oct 2014
  • I definately would not tell the children Santa was not real. My oldest is a teenager and of course, does not believe, but he keeps the magic going for his 2 younger brothers, 11 and 7. The 11 year old I suspect does not believe, but is happy to go along with the magic of Christmas. I do think they are greatly influenced by me and DH as we are the ones who get the most excited when choosing presents for the boys. I also love watching all the Christmas films, in particular the films which make you really want to believe Santa is real.
    Why not let the children enjoy this time of year as only children know how. They grow up far to fast nowadays, so it is lovely the traditional magic of Christmas is held in such high esteem, (it must be as we are all having a heated debate about it now, aren't we, even the 'non-believers'!)
    keep smiling,
    chinagirl x
  • I have 4 children the youngest is now 11, eldest 23. This is the first year our daughter is sure he doesn't exist but she still plays along with it asking for little things like hair bobbles to be sent to santa for her sack. she has even been shopping with me for things saying it will still be a nice suprise at Christmas as she won't remember what we have sent to Santa.

    We have never had tears over his non-existance and we have never admitted he doesn't exist. They have all grown up knowing that a) Father Christmas comes as long as you believe in him b) mummy and daddy have to send money to Santa to help buy those special presents c) Santa is very busy as it is a big World and mummies have to help Santa out by buying things and sending them to him for his approval, if he approves then they may be lucky enough to receive them at Christmas. They have always had a full pillowcase dispite not living in a well off family. The slippers, pyjamas, toothbush, toothpaste, soap, flannel, sponges, pencils,school equipment and other basic things that we use everyday have formed part of the excitement on Christmas day.

    One year after a non believer visited we went to the trouble of videoing in few second breaks the sacks magically moving and filling up. It would look like a complete joke now but was enough to put the belief back into doubtful little minds at the time.

    As a child my parents would wrap up presents and put them under the tree during the day. Every morning I would run down stairs to see if last night the elves had forgotten to collect the parcels but they never did. I will never forget that excitement leading up to Christmas. I have tried to pass on the same to my children.

    Christmas is a truly magical time for children but you should remind them, when a little older, of the true meaning of Christmas and why they are getting presents when really it is Jesus's birthday.
  • I shall be giving my two young grandchildren (under 1 and under 2) a small gift each and placing money in each of their bank accounts for their future. I am certain that they will receive lots of presents from other family members and will not miss having large expensive ones from me. As I have control of the accounts until they are aged 16 there hopefully will be quite a nest egg for them, when we can sit down and discuss what to do with the money. I hope by then, the situation regarding University fees and State Pensions will be resolved and the decision what to do will be easy.
    To Dare is To Do:beer:
  • Wow! What a load of good ideas. My son is only 21 months old and Christmas will be a little confusing for him as we're travelling and spending the time away. As a result everything he gets has to be small and light.

    I liked the ideas for the sensory stocking fillers based on scent, sound, taste, colour and tacticity. I also liked the writing paper idea and will take these on board.

    When I was a child, we used to write huge lists for Santa (mine was the biggest), but I never expected all of the things on the list by far, it just gave him an idea of what I liked! I never did get the boot roller skates I requested for many years. I can't remember the reason given, but I accepted it and besides there were so many other presents I was never unhappy.

    We got a huge selection of presents from Santa. We used to hang out pillow cases at the end of our beds. I do remember one year that we noticed afterwards that we hadn't been given presents by our parents, but they said that Santa had given us so much,we didn't need any more, although I think most times we did get a present from our parents as well. Thinking back, some of our presents were second hand (bikes) or home made (clothes).

    I was told that Santa, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny etc didn't exist when I was about 6 by children at school. I was absolutely devastated by this, but the pretence was kept up for years as I protected my younger brother and sister from the truth for years. My brother for some reason used to put his teeth in a glass of water for the tooth fairy without telling anyone he had lost a tooth. He was once quite annoyed that she hadn't been for several days and told everyone so! My parents were a bit shocked as he was quite old to still believe.

    I would never want to get myself into debt in order for my son to have the latest thing for Christmas. If I really felt he should have whatever it was I couldn't afford, I would ask his family for money towards it and to give him only a small token gift instead of everyone buying extravagent presents.
  • I think every one should lighten up a little - christmas is magic!!! - I agree with silkcutblue don't spoil it for the children by taking away Santa. It's not just the children who love the idea of christmas the parents do too. Otherwise whats the point of having children if you can't share in their joy and wonder at the world. My 10 year old daughter has just reached the age where she finally realises Santa is not real but she got there gradually in her own time. She has still retained her excitment at the magic of christmas and hopefully always will do. I feel a little sad as it means she is growing up and little by little she is losing her innocence. But it will be a gradual thing and not thurst upon her by some polictically correct adult insisting on the truth and nothing but the truth. Chilldren need to be able to use their imaginations to develop properly and fantasy's and day dreams are an important part of this. I think sometimes adults forget this at times.

    As a lone parent I don't have a lot of money at any time of year let alone christmas but I budget and buy things in sales through the year so that I can give as much as I can. Christmas is a yearly bill and should be factored in like any other bill don't let it creep up on you. I have told my daughter for many years that I have to give the money to Santa for him to buy the presents, which why there is such descrepancy in the amount that different children receive. Once reassured that it wasn't a reflection on how good she had been she was quite happy with that.


    From one self confessed christmas nut!!
  • Some lovely ideas here, but why tell children lies. I was brought up knowing that my mother worked and saved hard to buy me presents at christmas and birthdays. It is so much better for children to know where the presents come from and that parents have to work hard to buy them. Why should Santa get so much praise for giving the presents and the parents get none?
    My daughter was also brought up not believing in Santa. She had a lively imagination and would play games in the garden with fairies and rabbits and other animals who talked, but knew that these, like Santa, were not real.
  • ailuro2ailuro2 Forumite
    7.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    This came up when I was picking my dd up from the childminder's- my DD said did you know you have to pay Santa for the presents?

    I said, Why, yes,darling,of course you do, he has to pay all the elves minimum wage these days,so it costs a lot more than it used to!!

    I don't overblow the Santa thing, she's just turned 8yo,and asks the odd quesiton about is he real- I just ask if she thinks I would wrap up a present from us,and put someone elses name on it? That gets her thinking,without me saying "if you don't believe in Santa he won't come"?

    I still leave half a carrot and a bit of biscuit on the plate for Crimbo morning. :D
    Member of the first Mortgage Free in 3 challenge, no.19
    Balance 19th April '07 = minus £27,640
    Balance 1st November '09 = mortgage paid off with £1903 left over. Title deeds are now ours.
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Covid test firms form self-regulating body

A bid to tackle poor service concerns

MSE News

Cheap home insurance

Grab 100+ quotes & cashback

MSE Guides